Keep the Aspidistra flying……..

Back in 2007 at a general meeting on 27th Jan. at 1pm Harthill Allotment Committee made a fundamental error of judgement when they refused to listen to our biodiversity report…..it was a foregone conclusion, they had already made their minds up to remove the Copse. (You can see the details of that meeting here ) The fact is that as allotment holders at Harthill we actually care on many different levels and they chose ‘in their wisdom’ to see us as a threat rather than an opportunity and they chose ‘in their wisdom’ to take up arms against us and they chose ‘in their wisdom’ to trample on our dreams, hopes and ambitions.

Now anybody with half a brain or a modicum of people management skills will tell you that you just don’t do that to people who care about stuff and expect that to be the end of the matter.

A recent email to us from The Harthill Allotment committee stated: “Is all hope of a reconciliation lost? I had hoped that once the matter of the disputed plots was resolved there might be a chance of us working together to develop a plan to promote biodiversity on the site” ………NO DEAL…….how insulting is that?

Because the copse has been felled and to ‘their mind’ the matter has been resolved does not mean that it’s the end of the matter and we can just go back to pre 2007……. We can’t, too many things have been said and too many feelings have been hurt…..we can never go back, nor would we want to.
And with regards to promoting biodiversity at Harthill……what the f**k have we been fighting for over the past three-years? We had a prime opportunity to do that when we had the copse…..now we have nothing! ……. its a classic tale of mismanagement and incompetence.

So how did we get here…..well a number of reasons really, firstly we are dealing with an allotment committee who doesn’t know where the boundaries lie and think it’s acceptable to treat fellow allotment holders like S**T…..oh and by the way that’s all they are ‘fellow allotment holders’ with no more rights or privileges then the next man but they swan around as if they do have ‘privileges’ and make statements such as the one published above.

But is this all their fault? Well yeeeee….NO!…..as one senior officer at Liverpool City Council admitted “we don’t have an allotment infrastructure & strategy for the city” and there’s the rub. It’s a case of the blind leading the blind….nobody, not even the landowners Liverpool City Council knows where the boundaries lie…..we are in the ‘Outer Limits’ the ‘Twilight Zone’ of the imagination where anything is possible.

I would suggest that with the growing waiting lists and ever-increasing pressure on land and resources that Liverpool City Council sort this out ASAP…..its essential that we have an allotment strategy that takes into account wildlife, environment impact and bio-diversity……this should be one of the lessons learned and a legacy of our fight to save Harthill Copse!  

Amazingly Liverpool City council and the allotment committee have conspired to create 6 mini plots on the land that was Harthill Copse…..must be feeling guilty…….perhaps? or is it an attempt to make their cause look ‘more just’?….when all this started back in 2007 they where only seeking to create 2 and a half plots!!!…..they are indeed knights in shinning armour and we are cast as the pantomime villans of the peace!

So what of the future…..well I genuinely do wish our new plot holders well at Harthill. I hope they have many years of creative allotmenteering fun…..I also hope they appreciate how lucky they are to have a plot and I do hope it doesn’t end up looking like a tip for six months of the year…..but unless we have some kind of allotment strategy in place I’m afraid it’s all a bit hit and miss……….

Some quotes on the Felling of Harthill Copse:

“Sorry you lost this battle, but the war is far from over” supporter

“I am saddened to hear about the way both you and the copse have been treated” supporter

“I think that those responsible should not only be held responsible but should also be forced to re-plant the Copse, with ‘mature’ trees etc… “ supporter

“Thanks to you and all your group for all your efforts to preserve the Copse.  I use the park every day and in dry weather the allotment path was a favourite just to watch the birds and catch a glimpse occasionally of the foxes or other wildlife……..It seems so wicked to destroy something that has given pleasure to so many!” Calderstones Park User

“I have just read your very sad and shocking message- I just gasped out loud – and cannot believe what has happened.
The images of the cleared copse are totally disturbing – and for what?……………
Harthill Copse was such a unique part of our allotments and made it stand out from the often obsessively manicured and the rigid norms of most plots. Before I took up allotment gardening I looked at different sites and was put off  by the order and sparseness of most but when I saw Harthill with its bushes, trees and general wildness and disorder I knew it was the place for me . But now it is all changing and becoming as sanitized as the rest of the places.” Allotment holder at Harthill

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This entry was published on March 7, 2010 at 3:03 pm. It’s filed under allotments, liverpool, Politics, Ramblings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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